Friday, February 5, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Review

The Bennett sisters
I have something of an odd relationship with Jane Austen. My wife is a huge fan of the film and TV adaptations of her novels, though I don't think she has read any of them. There was a period of several months where my wife watched the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcey, every night as I was going to bed.  She played it over and over again night after night as I drifted in and out of sleep. 

My wife likes all of the adaptations of Austen's work, so I've seen all of them multiple times. The weird part is that I know mostly that 1995 Colin Firth TV version, but in weird disjointed half hour segments. As a result, all of the adaptations seem somewhat disjointed and have a dream-like quality for me and I have a lot of trouble keep one story straight from the next. So when I sat down to watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies this morning, the first thing I asked myself was, is this the one with Mr. Darcey?  Fortunately, I got my answer fairly quickly. One of the first, lines of dialog in the film is, "Colonel Darcey."

I haven't read the novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, though I have heard nothing but good things about it. I can't say whether it is a great adaptation or a hatchet job. I can only say that the movie really works. Having seen so many versions of Pride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies seems to follow the story of the original work, just with the addition of a 19th Century zombie apocalypse. 

One the most haunting image in the film
For me, it worked on both levels, as a period movie and adaptation of Jane Austen, it was excellent. All or at least most of the social intrigue of the original is there. Then it also works as a zombie movie. The opening montage is sort of like a combination of a popup book and a magic lantern show, but it serves the purpose of giving enough information about the zombies, so you can jump right in and not feel lost.

I actually cried at the end when Mr. Darcey and... well, you know, or would know if you've ever seen or read it before. As a zombie movie, it's a lot of fun. It's two things that you could never imagine would go together but captures the spirit of both in the most incredible way.

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